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ISPs and the freedom to host

by Giles Turnbull -- 2000/05/02

In a story today, there would appear to be signs that US-based ISPs will have a legal defense against being sued for what users put on their sites. But things are not so good for British ISPs.

In this instance, Prodigy was held by the court to be not liable for defamatory comments posted on its web servers.

In other words, Prodigy was not acting as a publisher, but in the same capacity as a telco - it was simply the enabler.

The situation remains unclear for UK-based ISPs, following the Demon-Godfrey case and Demon's decision to settle out of court. Not to mention the subsequent claims by the Campaign Against the Censorship of the Internet in Britain.

UK ISPs still do not enjoy the freedom to host whatever their users - aka paying customers - decide to publish.